ITSEKIRI WEDDINGS: IDENTIFICATION OF THE BRIDE & MARRIAGE BLESSINGS
Upon approval, the Groom will need to identify and introduce his bride to his family. If the Bride consents to marry, the ceremony can commence.
Among the Itsekiri, legal marriage requires:
8 Kola nuts (Obi Itsekiri)
Palm wine (Emo-Itsekiri)
12 bottles of local Gin (Ekpeti Gin) or 12 shillings (12 silver dollars)
1 bottle of Gordon’s Gin
1 bottle of pure water
Marriage is contracted when prayers are said over Kola nuts and palm wine. The Kola nut and palm wine represent kinship; the gin is for prosperity and success, and the water symbolizes purity in the relationship between the families. The Kola nut and palm wine, in particular, are essential for a proper Itsekiri marriage. The marriage is complete when the Olori-Ebi (head of the family) raises and places the Bride’s hands in the out-stretched palms of the Groom and of his father eight times. At the last count of eight (Mejo), the Olori-Ebi for the Bride’s family announces, “Di Ojo Nie Ewo,” which means, “It shall be well with you”.